‘I can’t lie anymore’

November 25, 2016

I opened my Facebook page and scrolled through my newsfeed. The screen is filled by news about Donald Trump, next to the horror in Aleppo. I feel powerless, like so many thousands. Like so many thousands of people in Aleppo.

‘Hey! How’s it going? I hope you’re alright. It looks like the world has forgotten Syria,’ I write to Akram, a Syrian guy from Aleppo who’s been living in the Netherlands for almost a year now.

‘Hi Pim!! I’m fine, thanks. Ya, the world has forgotten Syria and we feel powerless. What’s happening there is horrible 🙁 ‘  he writes back.

I recognize the feeling of powerlessness. We chat about the situation, about how people are trying to survive and how he tries to keep in touch with friends and people he knows. After a bit, he says something that moves me. Something that’s probably true for lots of Syrians who have fled. “The biggest problem is that I can’t lie anymore. I can no longer say that everything is going to be alright.”

I get a lump in my throat and fall silent.

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